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/Rachel Matthews The Apprentice - Every man (or woman) for himself

Episode five – Children’s BookThe Apprentice
Key Skill: Management

Episode five of The Apprentice hit our screens last night, and this week’s task had the two teams creating and selling a children’s book, for ages 3-5. As I’m sure you can imagine there was definitely some entertainment in watching.

While one team (project managed by Charleine) set the plans in motion immediately, the other (project managed by Sam) was a lot slower off the mark. Sam was reluctant to make difficult decisions, which resulted in his team being late delivering the script to the sub-team. A bad start.

Charleine was the complete opposite. She made decisions quickly and with confidence. However, she often did this through undermining her team. She set up a sub-team and made it clear she didn’t trust Richard, who she named to manage them. It was so clear, in fact, that the rest of the team were laughing at her behind her back - definitely not what you want as a manager.

Had she been honest, dealt with each situation effectively and made decisions that considered her team’s opinions, perhaps her team would have trusted her and her choices. Luckily for Charleine, her team won, so she didn’t need to face the boardroom.

Sam, however, had the complete trust of his team. They seemed to gel well, even when he couldn’t make decisions fast enough. They respected his decisions and followed his lead. However, individual team members didn’t necessarily have the skill of self-management, and while working in a team is a vital skill, you must be able to successfully manage yourself.

Natalie was the perfect example of this. She seemed unable to follow direction, remember information and manage herself effectively in almost any situation. With her ill-health on the day, perhaps this was a serious case of presenteeism? Either way, she failed to deliver on more than one occasion and was undoubtedly singled out as the weakest link of the group.

Who got fired?
Natalie.

What could have saved her?
Living up to her own expectations and managing herself effectively could have made a big difference. If she was unable to do something, no matter the reason, she should have spoken up and given somebody else the opportunity. While she certainly wasn’t singlehandedly to blame for the team loss, she definitely played her part, and why would Lord Sugar want a business partner he can’t rely on to manage herself?

Rachel Matthews

Rachel Matthews, Social Media and Marketing Manager

In my blogs I will look at industry constraints and issues and problems that employees face in their day-to-day work lives.

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